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  1. Meili Snow Mountain,Shangri-la

Chinese Name:梅里雪山

Key Words:a holy land of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists

Location:about 10 kilometers north-east of Deqin County, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province.(云南省迪庆藏族自治州,德钦县东北10公里处)

Altitude:over 6,000 meters


Meili Snow Mountain (aka Kawa Karpo) – in reality, a multi-peaked mountain range – is located in the western section of Deqin County, Yunnan Province, on the border with Tibet Autonomous Region. Apart from its top, which is snow-capped year round (whence the name), Meili Snow Mountain is characterized by the usual four distinct seasons. Between the mountain's foot and summit are several zones of plant distributions, from a flower-studded tropical zone near the base of the mountain to a frigid zone that comprises the mountain's snow-capped peaks, with intermediate and transitional zones in between. Meili Snow Mountain is also a one-of-a-kind habitat for several endangered species (among them: snow leopards, clouded leopards, Asiatic black bears and red pandas), which is why The Nature Conservancy has chosen to throw its support behind Meili Snow Mountain.

Meili Snow Mountain

Visitors are treated to spectacular view from all vantage points. The continuous mountain ridges feature snowy peaks and the sun throws golden lights on the low-floating clouds which form various extraordinary shapes, affording yet another splendid view! But mostly, the mountain presents itself as mystery when dense fog and clouds made it a gleaming sight to see and you could hardly resist the temptation to unveil it. You can have a panoramical view of the thirteen towering peaks from the Feilai Temple which is in the west of Deqin County.

Meili Snow Mountain

From the foot of the Kang Karpo Peak, you see the peculiar low-altitude glaciers formed in modern times. Strong updrafts collide with cloud airflow from the inner continents in this area producing frequent dense fog and heavy snow. The resulting topographic extremes include hanging glaciers, icefalls and snow slides. The Mingyong Glaciers, in particular, rushes from an elevation of 5,500 meters (18.045 feet) down to the forest zone 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) above the sea level in rainy seasons. From afar it looks like a huge white snake wriggling its way among the verdant mountains. On the south side of the peak, a waterfall named 'holy collapsing rain' falls from thousands of meters high. Pure water splashed from snow cracks and with the help of the sunlight, rainbows are often seen hanging above the fall.

Sacred Place of Pligrimage

Meili Snow Mountain is a sacred place, a place of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists, for whom the mountain is the first of the eight great divine mountains in the Tibetan region. To the locals who live near the mountain, Kawa Karpo is the residence of their guardian deity, and they subscribe to the belief that if the mountain is ever climbed by man, their guardian deity will abandon it, with catastrophic consequences for the locals who inhabit the villages in the valleys below. Religious beliefs notwithstanding, several attempts have been made, none successfully, to scale Kagebo.

The first team to try, in 1902, was British. This was followed, equally unsuccessfully, by American, Japanese, and Chinese teams, all of whom also failed. A combined Chinese and Japanese team tried to reach the summit of Kagebo in 1991, but the expedition ended in tragedy: the entire team perished in an accident, their remains not discovered until years later, in 1998. The many failed attempts to climb Kagebo have – quite understandably – only reinforced the religious beliefs that the local Tibetans attach to their sacred mountain. 

Meili Snow Mountain

The best positions to view Meili Mountain

  • Wunongding Viewing Deck
  • It is on the National Highway 214 starting from Zhongdian to Deqin County, and is 15 kilometers away from Deqin County. Standing there are 13 white towers and an open terrain, which is quite spectacular.

  • Feilaisi Incense Table
  • Feilaisi Village is on the National Highway 214 starting from Deqin County to Tibet, and is 11 kilometers away from Deqin County. The local Tibetans and the passers-by all go there to burn incense and to pray. It is the best position to shoot a panoramic view of the thirteen peaks and to look at the wonderful scenery of the sunrise and sunset.

The best seasons to visit:

The ideal seasons to visit Meili Snow Mountain are in the winter and spring periods between October and May. The best season is after the end of October, when you can view the main peak because of the nice weather, clean air and the high transparency there.

However, in other seasons, to see the main peak you have to depend on your luck. You are more likely to have a chance to see the snow-covered mountain in the early morning when the sun has just come out.

Tours including Meili Snow Mountain

10Days Meili Snow Mountain Pilgrimage with Mekong Grand Canyon and Yubeng Village Trekking Tour

3Days Shangri la Adventure of Mekong River Grand Canyon and Meili Snow Mountain

4 Days Shangrila and Meili Snow Mountain Join in Group Tour (Join in Chinese-speaking group/No Shopping)

8 Days Meili Snow Mountain and Yubeng Trekking Tour

16 Days Kawa Karpo Circle Pilgrimage Tour with Three Parallel Rivers Adventure

Fascinating Attractions Nearby

Shangyubeng Village in Deqin County,Shangrila

Yubeng is a secluded small Tibetan village tucked away at the foot of Meili Snow Mountain in Deqin county, the northwestern corner of Yunnan Province. It is only accessible by foot or horse/mule. But the trip, however arduous, is worth it. Yubeng is divided into an upper and a lower section. Both parts offer fabulous views of the Mei Li Snow Mountains. Lower Yubeng is smaller, quieter and closer to the lakes and waterfalls that you will likely visit during your stay

Feilaisi Monastery,Deqin

Feilai temple, the best place to watch goden peaks of Meili mountain at sunrise. So if u plan to watch sunrise, it’s absolutely a good idea to live at Feilai temple the night before. But actually it is unusual to see the goden peaks. The peaks of the mountains are often surrounded with clouds due to the high altitude they are. And this makes more interestings for Meili. There’s a kind of saying that, if any Japanese appears in this area then people can’t see the golden peaks that day. This is because Japanese are not welcomed by Tibetan people. Yes, they hate Japan and Japanese, just like people in notheast of China.

Lancang-Mekong River Grand Canyon

It is called the Lancang River after it reaches Changdu. The river runs south until it leaves China at the Nanla Bayout of Yunnan Province and therefrom changes its name from the Lancang River to the Mekong River. The river finally empties into the Pacific Ocean in the south of Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam.

Mingyong Glacier of Meili Snow Mountain,Diqing

The magnificent Mingyong Glacier is located about 12km north of Feilai Si and it is considered as the lowest glacier within China. The Mingyong Glacier flows for several kilometres down the flanks for the highest peak of the Yunnan Province, the Meili Xueshan (Mt. Meili, Kabego or Kawa Karpo).

Admission Fee:¥230

Opening Hours:8:00-17:00

Attraction Transportation:

  • 1) By plane: One can fly directly to Shangri-la (Zhongdian) from a number of cities, and then take a local bus to Feilai Temple in Deqin County, which is the best jumping off point to view Meili Snow Mountain. One can also fly to Shangri-la via Kunming, then take a public bus to Feilai Temple. Alternatively, one can fly to Kunming and take a charter bus (a 5-6 hour trip) to Feilai Temple.
  • 2) By scheduled bus: There are regular bus routes to Feilai Temple from a number of nearby villages: Kunming, Dali, Lijiang (albeit, via Shangri-la), and Shangri-la itself.
  • 3) By charter bus: One of the easiest ways to get to Feilai Temple is to take a charter a bus. A number of even easier ways to get to Feilai Temple is to hire a minibus, a car, or a cross-country jeep – they are available everywhere.

Attraction Travel Tips:
  • 1) Feilai Temple, the best vantage point from which to view Meili Snow Mountain, is 10 kilometers from the Deqin County seat. Tourists can make the 10-kilometer trip by a variety of motorized means, or go there on foot. The weather in the vicinity of Meili Snow Mountain is highly changeable. In general, the rainy season is July to August. A down-filled coat can be rented for 20 yuan (with an additional, refundable 100 yuan deposit). An oxygen bag, for those who feel they might need it (the best advice, if one feels that one might need it, would be to abandon the idea of viewing the mountain from the vantage point of Feilai Temple), is available for the same price/ refundable deposit.
  • 2) The best time for visiting the beautiful scenery of Meili Snow Mountain is from January to May. It is difficult to see the mountain in its entirety during summer and autumn, due to heavy cloud cover or mists, but if one is in the area anyway, then try at various times of the day. For example, mists can burn off later in the day, while ordinary cloud cover may first blanket the mountain later in the day, so, depending on whether one or the other is present, one can proceed accordingly (if both are present, well,... shucks!). 
  • 3)The ultraviolet rays are strong and you may need to bring something anti-sunburn. Besides, please keep in mind that in the mountains, do not yell or shout, that would offend the God of the Mountains. Tibetans there is always very quiet and respectful. Believe it or not, at least we do as the Romans do or show the courtesy.

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